A lot of things can change between the first signing of a lease and when your apartment is up for renewal. Read Renewing Your Lease for more.
Living in an apartment means that you probably need to renew your lease regularly. Many of these contracts are annual, but some have six- or eighteen-month terms.
By the time your lease is up, you’ve settled in your place and the idea of moving isn’t usually a fun one.
Unless a major issue has you excited to get out of your current place, you’re most likely ready to sign the lease and go on about your life. But before you do, you might want to consider your options.
Taking a few minutes now to reevaluate your situation might end up saving you a lot of time and money over the next year. Get deep into some realities with these seven questions before making that long-term decision to sign another lease. Read below points for Renewing Your Lease.
1. What’s the Budget Situation?
This is the perfect opportunity to look at your money situation, both now and for your future goals.
Remember when you first moved into the place?
You likely made a list of all expenses and your income and decided if you could afford to live there.
In the space of a year, chances are your income/bills/goals have changed. It’s time to do that budget analysis again.
Make a list of your expenses and income, then answer these key questions:
- Is the landlord keeping the rent the same or raising it?
- Can you still afford the rent?
- Does what you are paying now leave you any room to reach your financial goals in the near future?
- Can you negotiate the amount?
- Would you be better off looking for something a little cheaper?
- If you aren’t happy where you are, is this the right time to bump up your monthly rate for something better?
If you’re goal-oriented and ready to hit that action plan to reach your targets, now is your chance to work on them.
2. Does the Apartment Still Fit You?
Life happens, and what worked for you when you moved in might not be quite as perfect now.
That’s normal, but if your apartment no longer fits you, do you really want to spend another year there?
Maybe you decided you could use office space, especially if you ended up working from home unexpectedly. Or perhaps the tiny, cramped bathroom has been driving you crazy. It’s also possible that you have too much room and don’t want to keep paying for space you don’t need.
Whatever the reason is, you know by now if your place is too big, too small, or just right. If you need more or less space in your apartment, look around before signing the lease again.
3. Any Changes to the Lease Terms?
A lease is a legally binding contract that can’t be changed unless both parties agree or the original lease allows for amendments. In most rental situations, the lease stays consistent until it ends. Usually, in the event of a problem, like destructive pets or wild partying, the landlord can step in and make revisions.
But for non-problematic tenants, the landlord can only change the rules before renewing your contract. These amendments are most commonly adjustments in the rates or length of the lease.
Still, you might not be the only one second-guessing your tenancy. If the landlord wants you out but doesn’t want to end up in a legal battle, they can bump up the contract and make it difficult for you to live there.
Check over the terms of the lease before you sign to ensure there are no unreasonable requirements.
4. Is the Location Still Right?
For whatever reason, you chose this apartment, and now you’ve been living life coming and going from there. Over the past year, your needs may have changed, though.
Some of the most critical factors that help us choose a home, like the proximity to our frequent destinations, aren’t set in stone. Before you sign, ask yourself if you are still satisfied with all your daily commutes.
Did your school or job change? Would you prefer to be closer to your favorite shopping places or another place you visit often?
Looking around for a closer apartment to those locations could be a smart move, especially if it saves you time and fuel.
5. How Is Your Credit Doing?
If you felt limited in your options when you first started apartment hunting, you might have more of a selection now.
A limiting factor for people first starting out, for example, is a lack of references from previous landlords. It’s a vicious cycle. You can’t get a reference until someone lets you lease from them, but you need the reference to get an apartment.
Credit checks and finances are other big obstacles. Bad credit, new jobs, and a limited budget hinder many people from getting their dream place.
If your economic situation has improved, you might have a lot of unexpected choices now.
6. Are You Ready for the Stress of Moving?
Sure, a new apartment might be exciting. It’s also a lot of stress to move.
Packing, house-hunting, filling out application after application … it all adds up to a big headache. If you’re excited about the move, that’s one thing.
But if it’s just another stress on top of your personal problems, it might not be the right time.
If you’re already undergoing a lot of life issues, renewing your lease could be the least stressful option. In that case, go ahead and ask your landlord if it’s possible to go with a six-month lease, and you can reevaluate your options then.
7. Is it Time to Buy a House Instead?
At some point in most everyone’s lives, we decide to buy a home and establish some roots.
Owning a home means your monthly payments are going to your equity. It also means you’re responsible for the maintenance and upkeep.
There are pros and cons to both options. Since your lease is almost up anyway, if you’ve been considering the shift from renter to homeowner, this could be your chance!
However, if you haven’t been seriously saving for a down payment and working on your credit, you’re going to need time to do this. Again, a six-month lease could be your best option, so you have time to crack down on house-hunting with financially smart goals.
When it’s time to renew your apartment lease, don’t jump in and sign the next year of your life away blindly!
Ask yourself these seven questions to help you decide if it’s time to make a change or stay right where you are a little while longer. Hope you love reading “Renewing Your Lease”
Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the student housing industry and works with Sakara on a daily basis to grow their online presence.
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